Alex Massie

Fallows vs Brooks

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And it's no contest: James Fallows dismantles David Brooks' column on China. His advice:

Take a little time and look around, David. The parts that don't fit what you theorized before arriving are actually the most stimulating.

That's in response to Brook's beloved pseudo-scientific hucksterism:

If you show an American an image of a fish tank, the American will usually describe the biggest fish in the tank and what it is doing. If you ask a Chinese person to describe a fish tank, the Chinese will usually describe the context in which the fish swim.

These sorts of experiments have been done over and over again, and the results reveal the same underlying pattern. Americans usually see individuals; Chinese and other Asians see contexts.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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